A Year in Remezcla: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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Twitter: Stefadook

Sit back, have a coquito and take a glimpse back at our favorite Remezlca articles of 2013. You’ll encounter death, rebirth, burritos and Gael García Bernal: The Circle of Life. Click the pics for the full article!

When news broke that Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna were making plans for their Ambulante Festival to come stateside, our hearts filled with joy (and lust, oh my god Mami, can I go?). The traveling documentary film festival based out of Mexico whose aim is to use documentaries as a vehicle for social change will come to Los Angeles in Fall 2014. Good samaritans. Check. Good looks. Check. As if we needed any more reasons to love these two.

We’re not haters at Remezcla, but when Gothamist tried to tell us that Dos Toros was among NYC best burritos, we really had to LOL before we cut a bitch.

On March 5th 2013, one of the most controversial leaders we’ve seen in our lifetime met his end. “Thoughts from a Venezuelan Ex-Pat” showed us a glimpse into the inner turmoil experienced by Claudia Sosa, a recent college grad who left Venezuela years ago. “I am one of those who ‘escaped.’ I am one of those who ‘fled.’ I am the ‘coward who ran away,’ soy la ‘golpista, escuálida, fascista, oligarca, imperialista.’ Stop looking. I am all and none of these things.”

When MTV headed to Washington Heights, we were excited to rip into everything that we knew would be wrong with the show. The only thing they got right was the location, said our Resident Dominican Joel Moya. Where was the bachata? Since when are the Heights’ rooftops known as prime hang-out spots? Where are the Dominican mothers yelling and talking so fast you need subtitles? Bless you, MTV. Tu no sabe nada.

Bushwick’s Bossa Nova Civic Club, run by Chris Video, a Boricua DJ/Videographer/Editor, hosted a slew of underground electronic parties in 2013 with up and coming international DJs on the tropicaliente vibe. The new playground for Latin electronic alternative for artists like Pimienta, Isa GT, Maracuyeah, Chief Boima, Rio Bamba and El G of ZZK, held its first annual music revolution by the name of Latin Electronic Alternative Dance (L.E.A.D.) fest, the first Latin electronic festival to take place in New York. We’re just out here, doing thangs. NBD.

There is a war raging in Cuba. “Reggaeton vs Buena Vista Social Club” showed us the generational divide of the traditional musicos of Cuba and the overwhelmingly popular reggaeton which has been banned from the airwaves. Before reading this, I thought the streets of Cuba were littered with trillbys, cigars and trompetas. But “It would be as though everyone outside the US thought that American music = Frank Sinatra, period.”

The first glimpse into the Diego Luna directed Cesar Chavez biopic gave us goosebumps. The epically titled Cesar Chavez: An American Hero has a stellar cast of Latino actors and international distributing rights. Here’s hoping Hollywood in 2014 gets the hint: It’s time to share our stories with the rest of the world.

The death of most prominent female recording artist in banda music shocked the world. Jenni Rivera served as an inspiration to women in Latin America who had been through struggles from rape, single motherhood, domestic abuse and economic hardships. Her on-point lyrics and open-book approach to her personal life made her female fans walk alongside her and proudly call themselves ‘malandrinas’. Jenni Rivera was a force to be reckoned with.

5 Pointz became a living, breathing, collage of our history, so when news broke that plans to replace it with high-rise luxury buildings, we were heartbroken. We followed the ordeal closely, and despite 16 international artists coming together in a lawsuit against the Wolkhoffs and even Banksy putting in his two cents on the matter, nothing could stop its destiny. In the wee hours on a November morning, armed with NYPD, the owners of 5 Pointz painted over the graffitied walls. Let’s dry our eyes and start another artistic revolution. Who’s gonna stop us?

If we had to give an award to most likely to succeed, we’d say this summer put Uptown on the map. Armed with two huge parties for the creative community, first Apt 78 & The Peralta Project took us back our childhood summers. But instead of splashing around in fire-hydrants, we had spiked icees and music from Q-Tip, Bodega Bamz, Jarina de Marco and more. A little farther uptown had Los Muros Hablan– the international urban arts festival that brought 11 muralists from Latin America to transform the streets of Spanish Harlem. Local musicos like Flaco Navajas, Buscabulla and D’Marquesina performed and supported their community while the rest of us basked in the beauty of our ever-growing culture. This is Mi Gente!